335th EFS DFE highlights CENTCOM capabilities

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Zade Vadnais
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

In the modern era of warfighting, the ability of a nation to rapidly deploy and employ forces anywhere around the globe at a moment’s notice is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage for readiness.

To that end, personnel and aircraft assigned to the 335th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron recently deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base in support of dynamic force employment, a short-term deployment strategy that manages U.S. forces in ways that are strategically unpredictable to adversaries, yet operationally predictable for supporting units.

“Our overall objective during this deployment is to increase the readiness of our squadron, both operations and maintenance,” said Lt. Col. David Gunter, 335th EFS commander. “We expect to accomplish this by exposing both our maintainers and aircrew to as many different and unique experiences while in theater as possible. This deployment is unique due to the multiple DFE and agile combat employment events we plan to accomplish in theater, and due to the mix of training and combat lines we are projected to fly.”

DFEs are unique deployments intended to familiarize crews with the region’s airspace and the process of working with air operations centers, partner nations, and operational task forces. The ability of the United States to move forces rapidly into the theater to seize, retain and exploit the initiative against an adversary is key to deterring potential aggression, and regularly exercising that ability only strengthens it.

“We are excited to integrate with the outstanding 380th Air Expeditionary Wing team,” said Gunter. “I expect that we will provide opportunities for the 380th to continue to develop their procedures for integrating units into the wing for short duration temporary duties and DFE events.”

DFE deployments are deliberately planned to occur on short timelines – and often with an element of strategic unpredictability – to demonstrate the U.S. Air Force’s capabilities while amplifying U.S. Air Forces Central's agility and strengthening capability resiliency.

“The 335th EFS deployment demonstrates agility and commitment to our partners and allies,” explained Col. Kristen Thompson, 380th Expeditionary Operations Group commander. “The deployed environment affords joint use airspace and interoperability for enhanced training and combat experience.  The 335th will conduct a wide variety of combat and training missions with joint and regional partners to improve squadron readiness and regional security.”